American Experience: A Class Apart DVD

$24.99
Item #: WA9272
Built around the landmark 1954 legal case Hernandez v. Texas, the film interweaves the stories of its central characters with a broader story of the civil rights movement.  It also brings to life the heroic post-World War II struggle of Mexican Americans fighting to dismantle the discrimination targeted against them.
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Built around the landmark 1954 legal case Hernandez v. Texas, the film interweaves the stories of its central characters with a broader story of the civil rights movement.  It also brings to life the heroic post-World War II struggle of Mexican Americans fighting to dismantle the discrimination targeted against them.

Interview with the filmmakers, intercut with "making of" behind the scenes footage and photos
Spanish Audio and Subtitles
A "slideshow" of legendary photographer Russell Lee's photos of Mexican American life in the Southwest in the late 1940s.
Discussion guide
Deleted scenes

Producer: Camino Bluff Productions
Production Year: 2009
Copyright Year: 2009
Rating: TV-PG
Number of Discs: 1
Length: 60 minutes
Subtitled: Y
Subtitle Languages: Spanish
Language Track: English;Spanish
Audio Format: Stereo

122 Reviews
L
Lampworker
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
Inspiring
Review by Lampworker on 07/17/20 review stating Inspiring
What an eye opener - Every American citizen should be required to watch this program. It teaches us to take a hard look at ourselves and take responsibility - and it also inspires us to understand how strong the human spirit is.
D
Debrinconcita
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
True life Portrail of Native Issues
Review by Debrinconcita on 07/17/20 review stating True life Portrail of Native Issues
I loved each one of the series films. They were all well written and acting was so realistic. I thought I was back in the day? Thanks for finally letting the true life Native American side of the History finally be told by Native Peoples. I am truly moved as a Native American mother and daughter of Tribal Families throughout my life. These issues need to be told and History books need to be rewritten to portray Native People as the innocent people we were when Columbus came here and devistated our Natural and beautiful lives we had. We shall remain and not ever be forgotten forever. Thanks for making this film for all Native people alive today in 2009!
D
David R.
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
I really enjoyed this film
Review by David R. on 07/17/20 review stating I really enjoyed this film
Ric Burns is not always given the credit or fanfare of Ken Burns, but he deserves just as much if not more. His hard hitting and powerful ability to tell a story is impressive. This was some film and I learned quite a bit about my own State of Connecticut and its bloody history in the first part. I went on to do some research and I am appalled at the way we have treated the Native people from the various nations. At the same time, I am glad the Native Americans were not reduced to caricatures of themselves, but are shown as people with a noble past and unique contributions to the America we live in today. Thank You Ric Burns and PBS for making this film.
J
Jesse H.
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
Very Well Done
Review by Jesse H. on 07/17/20 review stating Very Well Done
As an ex corporate banker and now teacher I am intrigued by the constitutional momentum and contrast to Brown v. Board of Education. This really puts a spotlight on Mexican American contributions to human rights. I have taken most of my undergrad work in legal studies and have also never heard of this case until now. Excellent pictures as well. I will show this to students and familia. Atentamente...
C
Coexist
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
The Real American History
Review by Coexist on 07/17/20 review stating The Real American History
When will our schools teach the true history of America and not the white mans fairy tale? Can anyone imagine their entire society, culture and families being torn apart and eradicated? This is the true story and it should mandatory viewing. We need to know our true place in this country.
C
Cali G.
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
WOW
Review by Cali G. on 07/17/20 review stating WOW
This film was excellent! Learning more about what happened to Booth after the assassination of Lincoln was the best Ive ever seen.
B
Blizzard W.
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
We are all related
Review by Blizzard W. on 07/17/20 review stating We are all related
I read all the reviews presented and have to say there are always going to be critics however uninformed as they may be. In my opinion, this is a brilliant series. Five years ago, I started a non-profit to support literacy and education on two Reservations in South Dakota; when first attempting to provide public awareness of the third world conditions existing today, I was dumbfounded to see the blank faces staring back at me. The audience had virtually no knowledge of the historical facts being presented or even of the named Tribe mentioned. It is appalling to note how lacking our education has historically been. Finally, with this series available to us all, there is now a chance to present that which has been swept under the rug, denied or ignored ad infinitum. This is a great educational tool which I will purchase without a hesitation. Mitakuye Oyasin
T
Tenzin
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
Excellent narrative, a must watch
Review by Tenzin on 07/17/20 review stating Excellent narrative, a must watch
I am a Tibetan, and so I feel a strong bond with the indigenous people of America. I watched the series on PBS and was so impressed and immersed into the rich historical past of the various tribes and their struggle to survive. Since my country, Tibet was occupied by China in 1949, the Tibetans face the very sad but similar fate of occupation, genocide and a struggle for survival. Knowing more about Native American history, past and contemporary is definitely an inspiration and valuable for other indigenous peoples; gave me some valuable insight. I think all Americans should watch this..all of it, its definitely worth the time. thank you to everyone who worked on this. And Im so glad the Native Americans have persevered and survived, though the struggle continues for equality and justice!
M
Miquel
Anonymous User
4.0 star rating
07/17/20
Why is this not taught???
Review by Miquel on 07/17/20 review stating Why is this not taught???
Many of the comments about never learning this tragic subject in schhol are disturbing. I find this a useful DVD in my US History classes. I have been teaching US History for 10 years to middle and high school students and ALWAYS include a throurough unit of study about the genocide policies of the early American and British governemnts (unless they were the Native America nations co-opted against each other). I served with Native Americans-Lakota and Navajo in the Marines and went to a college close to where many Native people live. The trouble with these PBS materials is as interesting as the subjects are, our kids minds are warped because of cell phones, computers, and Hollywood. The best place to teach them about Native Americans is in the places they lived and defended...the coastal areas, foothills, forests, and river valleys..ie. outside
C
Cuauthemoc
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
we shall remain
Review by Cuauthemoc on 07/17/20 review stating we shall remain
perfect!
S
Shanoar
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
french version
Review by Shanoar on 07/17/20 review stating french version
Hello I am French and I would like to know if this DVD is under titled in French? Thank you
M
Mal
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
what about in australia ?
Review by Mal on 07/17/20 review stating what about in australia ?
when will this great story be available for us Australians, I have been interested in The Original Peoples history since a very young girl, I cant wait to see this dvd I have rated it before I have even seen the dvd but I know I will love it anyway regards mal
N
Ndn K.
Anonymous User
1.0 star rating
07/17/20
First two films Eh!! gets better after 2
Review by Ndn K. on 07/17/20 review stating First two films Eh!! gets better after 2
just what the headline says: I think the series was okay. I fell asleep during the first film. And then again on film 2. Dustin Craigs film, Geronimo is spectacular.
R
Reviewer
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
We shall remain
Review by Reviewer on 07/17/20 review stating We shall remain
perfect
P
Peter B.
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
Massasoit Metacomet sections TERRIFIC
Review by Peter B. on 07/17/20 review stating Massasoit Metacomet sections TERRIFIC
I am 66 and recently discovered that I am the 11th direct descendent, on my father side, of John Benjamin who helped to settle Cambridge in 1632. But, Native American blood is on my mothers side as her grandfather was a full-blooded Native American, (Either Wampanaug or Mic Mac.) Little did I know, when I was a Boy Scout, in 1956, and camped on Nobscot Mountain in Framingham/Sudbury, that the beautiful Easterly view I saw from the the top of Nobscot mountain, from King Phillips Ridge [aka Chief Metacomets Ridge, of rolling farm land and forests leading back to the towers of Boston, was of land in part owned by my ancestors; both English and Native American. I was deeply conflicted watching this episode. I have always loved many of the beliefs embraced by my Native American, but I also admire my English ancestors as well for all they accomplished. I wish a more peaceful path could have been worked out between them. I really loved these two episodes. They were very enlightening. The story was well told, beautifully acted, and the filming was wonderful. I will buy the whole set of DVDs.
A
Al P.
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
Excellent Educational Program
Review by Al P. on 07/17/20 review stating Excellent Educational Program
For the entire nation, this program not only educates those that do not know the story of the Mexican-American civil rights experience, but also puts forth the enduring spirit of the human will to confront injustice changing a nations way of thought and behavior towards a class of people. Excellent!
P
Princes C.
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
weshall remain
Review by Princes C. on 07/17/20 review stating weshall remain
It is time that the people know the injustice done to all NATIVE AMERICANS I am Cherokee and white and have been waiting for the truth to be know.
E
El G.
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
Praise God
Review by El G. on 07/17/20 review stating Praise God
Thank you. I remembered with tears what my parents recounted of what life was like for them as Mexican-Americans. My father was a veteran of WWII and the injustice he endured in education, business, the depression and the struggle he endured before and after the war. I had my children watch what they have never experienced. To watch not with hate, but understanding. I want them to learn, grow and be proud for all who came before us. May their lives reflect the opportunity they have been given. Praise God.
L
Leah M.
Anonymous User
5.0 star rating
07/17/20
we shall remain
Review by Leah M. on 07/17/20 review stating we shall remain
So far I find it well done as all PBS documentarys have been. During Wounded Knee I voluneered at the New York AIM office and experienced the struggle our Native people endure to this day. It was an experience I shall never forget and still cherish the friends I made during that period. It was strange last night when seing Michael Greyeyes,because he so resembled one of the men I warked with at AIM. I have, and will always support any effort made by the people; and have always seen the truth of the way the Europeans greed tried to destroy them. How identical it was to the efforts of Hitler toward the Jewish people.
S
Sad H.
Anonymous User
2.0 star rating
07/17/20
Incredibly disappointing.
Review by Sad H. on 07/17/20 review stating Incredibly disappointing.
Powhatan and Jamestown, 1607? Ignored. Spanish and Native peoples? Ignored. Other than my students being able to hear the Indian languages, this is not something I would assign again. 1519-1607 completely ignored. Why would PBS continue the thanksgiving motif? Little educational value in this series. By the way, the Cherokee did not have the first Trail of Tears. Disappointed with the series, in general.

"A powerful reminder of the civil rights movement. One to watch." - Austin American-Statesman

"An eye-opening PBS documentary on a 1954 Supreme Court case that redefined Mexican-America civil rights. An outstanding work of non-fiction TV." - Baltimore Sun

"Necessary viewing." - San Antonio Express-News

"A vivid documentary." - TV America

"A gripping account." - San Antonio Current

"A new and stirring documentary." - Arizona Daily Star

"Films about Mexican-Americans and other Latinos who struggled and prevailed against segregation and discrimination are few and far between. That scarcity emphasizes the significance of documentaries such as A CLASS APART. It's only one hour in a saga that deserves a multi-part vehicle, but it is a critical starting point." - Houston Chronicle



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